If I had to describe women’s World Cup soccer player Alex Morgan’s tea-sipping celebration against England this week with one word, it would be sublime.
The American superstar was able to deftly outmaneuver a British defender before connecting with a cross and sending a blistering header to the back of the net with her signature grace and poise.
But what came next is what had the world in an uproar. Morgan arrived near the sideline and calmly, deliberately sipped an imaginary cup of tea, making sure to mind her manners and raise her pinky finger in the process.
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Some saw it as a crass diss aimed directly at the English team, but it was much more than that.
Earlier in the competition the Americans came under heavy fire for continuing to heartily celebrate goals, even when amassing an enormous lead on the competition. Some said that they were arrogant, others that they had no class.
Morgan’s raised pinky salute wasn’t about shoving it in the face of her competitors, (although sipping tea two days before the Fourth of July while vanquishing the Redcoats was fairly on-point). No, Alex Morgan also called the haters to the carpet over their questioning of her manners.
Like I said before: Sublime.
Now, as she faces criticism for this latest goal celebration, Morgan is pushing back.
“I feel that there is some sort of double standard for females in sports to feel like we, you know, have to be humble in our successes and have to celebrate but not too much and have to do something, but it always has to be in a limited fashion.
“You see men celebrating all around the world in big tournaments, grabbing their sacks or whatever it is and when I look at sipping a cup of tea, I’m a little taken aback and kind of … You have to laugh about it, to see all the criticism.”
The American Women’s Soccer Team became the first to ever reach three consecutive World Cup Finals thanks to Morgan’s efforts.
The ladies will take on The Netherlands in the championship game Sunday at 11am EST.
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